Israeli forces kill 2 Palestinians who carried out attack -army


NABLUS, West Bank (Reuters) -Israeli security forces on Friday killed two Palestinians who carried out a shooting attack against police this week, Israel’s military said.

Israeli forces raided the occupied West Bank town of Nablus, the military said, and “both terrorists were killed following an exchange of fire.”

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA said Israeli troops had cordoned off a house where the two had holed up and that they had been “executed.”

The armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a major faction in the Palestine Liberation Organization, claimed the two men as members and said they had carried out the attack on Israeli police.

In a separate incident near the city of Ramallah, a member of the Hamas Islamist group was killed by Israeli fire when violence erupted at an anti-settlement protest, Hamas said. Palestinian residents said Jewish settlers arrived and a stone-throwing clash ensued.

The Israeli army said Palestinian rioters had hurled rocks at troops and at a main road. The troops “responded with riot dispersal means and live fire, a hit was identified.”

Most countries view Israel’s settlements on occupied land as illegal. Israel disputes this.

Friday’s violence followed a two-day Israeli operation earlier this week in the densely populated Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, which has been a flashpoint in a wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence that has convulsed the West Bank for more than a year.

The Israeli military said it had targeted infrastructure and weapons depots of Palestinian militant factions in Jenin in the operation.

Twelve Palestinians, most confirmed as militant fighters, were killed and around 100 wounded in the incursion that began with late-night drone strikes, followed by a sweep involving more than 1,000 troops.

The raid damaged homes, left a trail of wrecked streets and burned-out cars and prompted the evacuation of thousands of people from the refugee camp. Israel says all the Palestinians killed were combatants. One Israeli soldier was killed.

The Jenin operation was the most intense in two decades, said the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that provides public services in Gaza and the West Bank.

UNRWA said it had set up a temporary healthcare facility because a part its health centre was destroyed, and appealed for foreign aid to help rebuild damaged buildings.

The Israeli army during its operation had said it struck a militant command center in Jenin that was situated next to an UNRWA school and medical centre.

(Reporting by Raneen Sawafta, Ali Sawafta, Nidal al-Mughrabi, Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Toby Chopra, Ros Russell and Alistair Bell)

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